Batman: Arkham City Strategy Guide Is A Thing Of Beauty

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 9:00 am
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​I don't own a lot of strategy guides, but BradyGames' Batman: Arkham City limited edition guide makes me understand why some gamers go nuts for these books.

This weighty hardcover book showed up at JD Central the other day, and man is it ever gorgeous. Not only does it walk you through all the story missions, side missions, challenges and achievements/trophies in the game, it also gives you gorgeous images and bios of all the characters (well, sometimes not so gorgeous, if you're talking about most of the villains), a preview of the tie-in graphic novel, a set of numbered lithographs and a pull-out centerfold of Catwoman and Harley Quinn. In short, it's a fully loaded package.


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What To Expect From The Battlefield 3 Beta - Hands-On

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Not to knock PCs at all, but I need to play my video games on consoles. Preferably the Xbox 360. I relegate my PC to the Civilization series and maybe the occasional free browser game. That's just how I was raised. And that how I'm gonna keep on living my own life.

I got the Battlefield 3 open beta key from EA yesterday and spent a few hours playing through the now-famous Operation Metro level of the Rush multiplayer game mode. You see, the open beta starts tomorrow, but a lucky few of us got to play through the beta 48 hours early. Hit the link to see how I felt about this hot commodity, and what you should expect to see over the two week beta process.

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FireFall Hands-on - PAX 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm
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At PAX 2010, FireFall had a modest booth in the center of the expo hall and generally positive buzz. The game was announced on the show floor and promised a free to play, open world experience similar to Borderlands. I covered it, and found that it showed a lot of promise.

At last week's PAX 2011, no attendee could turn around and not see FireFall's logo (which looks confusingly like the StarCraft logo. Jus' saying). This independant company is self publishing their game, but where did they get the kind of money to put window decalls on the bathroom and their name branded on every PAX sign?

After a few questions, I learned a surprisingly simple answer. I also played the game. Check both out after the jump.
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Tags: Firefall

Journey Is Gorgeous - PAX Hands-On

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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​I have a thing for small, beautiful games. And thatgamecompany is one of the best when it comes to playing to my bias. So my hands-on with the upcoming Journey went on far too long, and my infatuation with it was extremely apparent when I spoke with its executive producer. She smiled. I told her I didn't usually let people know how I felt about games when I was at press events -- that whole journalistic integrity thing I try to keep up was being skirted blatantly. She gave me a free shirt when she ran in to me later in the indie games section of the show. It was magical.

But that was all rooted in how beautiful the game itself was. I'll take you on a journey of my journey through twenty-five minutes of Journey. It begins with me getting off the soft high of playing Shadow of the Colossus.



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Black Knight Sword Hands-on - PAX 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm
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Black Knight Sword
was announced at Gamescom and it's one of those odd games that plays really well, but doesn't initially look like much. That's not to say "it's more than the sum of its parts", because it's a mostly routine sidescrolling action game, but there's a certain charm to it that I'm not sure how to feel about.

The game takes place on a stage in a theater, and that's the most captivating part of the experience. The entire thing looks like a classical Chinese puppet show. Curtains go up, they go down, the background moves alongside the camera. It creates an atmosphere that looks great, but I can't help but feel that the overall aesthetics looks like something from an old Devil May Cry.

But then the game's mechanics come in and make the game a lot of fun.
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Battlefield 3 Co-Op Hands-on - PAX 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm
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Battlefield 3's marketing campaign has put heavy, heavy emphasis on multiplayer. That's very obviously its main selling point, and the facet of its package that it is displaying to try and hunt down and capture Call of Duty fans. E3 had seven-hour lines for twenty minutes of play. It has been very prominent across the web.

But PAX brought us a new face of Battlefield 3 -- another portion of gameplay that has yet to be experienced. It's the co-op. The Battlefield 3 booth at PAX Prime 2011 was loaded with LCDs supporting two-player cooperative play. And I got to spend many, many minutes blazing through the map.



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Guild Wars 2 Hands-on - PAX 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm
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It seems like Guild Wars 2 has been in production for a surprisingly long time, and it appears that the game is using every available second to create an experience that's familiar, but also very different and unique. 

Guild Wars 2 is another one of those games shooting to show the world what the next generation of MMORPGs could be, and it shows off quite well. The PVP-focused MMO has streamlined the genre's process by removing quests in place of public events, and has taken every step to remove menus in place of action. 

It's kind of a foreign feeling when you start playing the game. After all, I'm really used to accepting quests after all these years, but Guild Wars 2 is doing clever things that could define new concepts for the genre.
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Wildstar Hands-On - PAX 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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Wildstar
is a game you should be aware of*. This is one of those next- generation MMOs made by a team of guys who have worked on almost every other MMO over the last decade. In other words, these guys know what people don't like in MMOs, and are working on a unique new virtual world without any of those holes. It's taken roughly ten years for the developers to get to this point, and gamers will soon start reaping the benefits.

Carbine Studios was formed around four years ago, and have been working on this game ever since. The team -- originally composed of World of Warcraft veterans -- wanted to create a title with their unique artistic vision. This goal has created a world filled with lighthearted humor and abominable snowmen with bangs covering their eyes. These four years have been mostly devoted to back-end work, and now the game is taking shape. 

Now that I'm done talking about how good the game looks, let's talk about the game's structure, which is much more important in the long run, and also incredibly well implemented. 
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Tags: Wildstar

Gotham City Impostors Hands-On -- PAX 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm
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Gotham City Impostors is another team-based first person shooter. It's all about running around, shooting the other guys, and completing objections. The only unique mechanical additions is a grappling hook -- used for fast transit and climbing on roofs -- and the Borderlands-esque satisfaction that comes from watching numbers fly out of your target's head when you shoot them.

Still, this game is worth paying attention to. It may not be mechanically unique, but its still an enjoyable experience with more charm than any other team-based shooter on consoles*.

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Shadow Of The Colossus HD - PAX Hands-On

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm
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Sony's media-only PAX preview was held in the basement of a hotel about a quarter-mile away from the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Inside, about twenty five or so bloggers and journalists were milling about, at any given time, clasping icy waters and snacks in the cool air-conditioned conference room. A few donned headphones and played the games. There were flat-screens and consoles lining the perimeter of the room. It was a pretty standard conference affair.

After a brief PR introduction, I walked to the only available console to get some hands-on time while I waited for Journey, thatgamecompany's upcoming title, to free-up. I sort of recognized the "start" menu. I put on the headphones. I resumed play. I was in the Shrine of Worship.

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